Adam Levin advises everyone to take caution when calling back an unknown number. He is the founder of CyberScout and author of Swiped: How To Protect Yourself in a World of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves. He adds that scammers are skilled in faking numbers for caller ID purposes. These people will purposely use area codes that appear similar to yours to gain your trust.
Levin also says that these scammers bank on the fact that people are curious. So when they see a number that comes from the same hometown as you, you’d probably think it’s from someone you know. Eva Velazquez, the CEO, and president of the Identity Theft Resource Center says that answering a phone call or calling back makes an individual exposed to future scams. These kinds of responses confirm that a real person owns the number which makes them a perfect candidate for another scam plan.
While convincing someone they don’t know to give out their personal information like SSS and credit card numbers might seem an impossible mission for these scammers, they could resort to an easier route: charging by the minute. By answering that call, you’ll pay $17 in the first minute and $9 after that. People have no choice but to ignore an unknown number and forget about it. People who are calling out of urgency or importance will surely leave a voicemail. One rule of thumb on this is always to verify. Sometimes scammers will pose as a credit card company, before you call back, google the number first and see if it is the official hotline. If it’s not, then you’re better off without it.